Artifact, Ritual, and the Hypostasis of Time

An edit of material written for Total Cognitive Penetrability #1, available on request.


When the Balinese dance, they dance the dance their fathers danced. They wear the masks their fathers wore. They play the parts their fathers played. There is an esoteric meaning which proximity does not confer, which anthropological holism cannot synthesize by gestalt. These rituals are a form of time-travel. Eternal Choreographies, cyclical motions, ever available, which can be accessed. It is literal magic.

Balinese Hinduism is not only a loop but a cycle. Observe the Balinese baby-worship: a baby, newly born, has been in the heavenly realm very recently, and is revered as a result. But her arrival in this, the “lower” earth, is also celebrated. There is no apex of a circle in a void of gravity, in a world without poles.

Time is a wheel, and the dance is a way of spinning it. They smile from behind the hologram of character, from beneath the overlay of myth. They have collapsed time in that moment, distributing themselves amidst all other times, a thread connected by nodes of ritual which form a smooth and unbroken cord. Plucking this cord, they smile, and no material change in the world can pull them back from the All-Time where they have always lived.


Where once it was said with some assurance, “Gnosis is the presence of truth,” we can now say, “Gnosis is less untruth, which is not less doubt. It is the intersection of improbabilities into a gestalt of doubt. It is a noise unheard by others that causes us to travel down a darkened corridor. But what will we find? Hearing the sound is not knowing its source, or the intentions thereof. It does not attach itself to this savior or that, to this orthodoxy or that heterodoxy. It is not about god. It is about the world and us in it.

It is not finished speaking.


The organization of information that constitutes the universe is misconstrued by the human mind in terms of time. Time is a doldrums dialect of the information-weaving procedure of reality.

Yes, the kipple is entropy. Yes, it is often wetted with blood and packed into castles in that endless annexation of our world by the Black Iron Prison. But it is not death itself, nor likelier to become death than truth. It must be able to wax and wane, to bloom and rot. This is how the universe protects itself.

To wear a name is not enough.To be struck by the light is not enough. To eat one’s own death is not enough. To remove duality is not enough. To send the golem back is not enough.

To wear the face is enough.To respond to the name when it is called, and not be a liar: this is enough. To internalize the tastes and thoughts of the other, to heed its advice, is enough.


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